'Not Fooling Anybody': Jaishankar Slams US Over F-16 Deal With Pakistan

Jaishankar questioned the Biden administration's decision to approve a $450 million package for the F-16 fleet, arguing that America's alliance with Pakistan has not benefited either of the two nations.

'Not Fooling Anybody': Jaishankar Slams US Over F-16 Deal With Pakistan
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar(ANI)

EXTERNAL Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said America's relationship with Pakistan has "not served" either of the two countries, while raising questions about the Biden administration's approval of a USD 450-million sustenance package for the F-16 fleet.

"Very honestly, it's a relationship that has neither ended up serving Pakistan well nor serving American interests. So, it is really for the United States today to reflect on the merits of this relationship and what they get from it, Jaishankar said in response to a question during an interaction with Indian-Americans, as quoted by the news agency PTI.

According to him, everyone is aware of the locations and adversaries that F-16s are employed against, refuting the US claim that the F-16 maintenance package is intended to combat terrorism. In response to a query, he replied, "You're not fooling anybody by saying these things."

Early this month, the Biden administration overturned the Trump administration's decision to suspend military assistance to Islamabad for providing safe havens for the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network by approving a USD 450 million plan to maintain Pakistan's F-16 fighter jet fleet.

In a notification to the US Congress, the State Department approved a potential foreign military sale for sustainment and related equipment for an estimated cost of USD 450 million, arguing that this will maintain Islamabad's capacity to address present and future counterterrorism threats by maintaining its F-16 fleet.

Rajnath Singh, the Indian defence minister, spoke with Lloyd Austin, the US defence secretary, and discussed India's concerns with Pakistan on the F-16 package.

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